For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
It's never easier to understand the good intentions and plans God has for you, than at Christmas time.
The efforts we each go to in order to see, hear, and experience a recipient's glee is remarkable. As soon as a gift idea comes to mind for someone, our focus becomes very narrow & intense, like a lioness stalking prey. All other projects are handled out of duty, but the search and preparations to make "that" item someone's gift is the source joy, dread, and frustrations. Yet, we are determined to make it happen. Each morning the first thing on our mind is how and where to get that present. We shop online. We go from store to store. We brave the congested traffic, and the cranky fellow-shoppers. Even WE become cranky in our exhaustive search.
We want to experience that shriek of surprise from a recipient. We want to see that you-shouldn't-have look flood someone's eyes. It's so rewarding to incite surprise tears of joy in someone because we gave them the perfect gift.
There is nothing so personally fulfilling as being a gifter.
I ask that today you recognize THAT IS HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT YOU!
God doesn't spend time contemplating your punishment because you've been so sinful. He has eternally contemplated how to swoop in and rescue you from the wages of sin!
God doesn't sit on the throne in a resentful stew over how you've ignored him. He sits on his throne continually sending you love tokens that might catch your eye.
God doesn't allow his mind to be consumed with what you deserve. God's mind is like an eternal Christmas-mind; his thoughts toward you are CONSUMED with providing you with every good and perfect gift.
There is a "trick" to being on the receiving end of God's gifts; it is that we ASK. In the passage where Jesus is comparing his ability to provide good gifts, to a dad's provision abilities, he points out that the child ASKS for bread and fish.
Even though God knows the desires of our hearts, he also knows that part of the "purchase" of a gift comes through the power of the tongue. Therefore, Jesus said, "ASK!"
God doesn't think you're being selfish if you ask for your specific desires. He sees your request as a level of trust that is shared between only the closest of companions. I don't tell just anyone what I truly want for a gift. They may see me as "cheap," or as "haughty," or as "ridiculous," if they knew what I really, really want. But if I believe someone loves me, I can trust them to know what the desires of my heart are.
There is great creative-power is speaking out your desires. And there is a sign of great trust in who you reveal your desires to.
God has repeatedly tried to convince humanity that he delights in relationship. He will play whatever role you need him to play, JUST to be near you. He'll be your father, your husband, your friend, your teacher, your master, your servant. He craves your love and trust.
So, approach him with the insight that he wants you to trust him enough that you ASK for what you want and need.
You're the child of The KING of kings!
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!